Adam Gilchrist, others back Ponting

Adam Gilchrist, others back Ponting | Australian Gilchrist, others back Ponting

Adam Gilchrist, others back Ponting: Adam Gilchrist has added his name to the list of former and current players rallying to support Ricky Ponting, saying the beleaguered captain is Australia’s best batsman since Sir Donald Bradman.

Adam Gilchrist, others back Ponting | Australian Gilchrist, others back Ponting

Australian Gilchrist, others back Ponting

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday quoted an unnamed but allegedly senior Cricket Australia official saying Ponting’s days as Australia’s limited-overs captain were likely numbered.

Gilchrist, who was Ponting’s vice captain before retiring after the 2007 tournament, said the 36-year-old batsman had “earned the right” to discuss his future with Cricket Australia after the World Cup.

Australia, coming off a loss to Pakistan which ended its 34-match unbeaten streak at the World Cup, plays co-host India at Ahmedabad in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Gilchrist remembered when Steve Waugh was under similar pressure to win the 1999 World Cup or lose the captaincy, and said it worked out very well for Australia.

“But I do know that in 1999 when there were rumors that Steve Waugh was told he would lose the captaincy if we bowed out of that World Cup, he scored one of the great World Cup hundreds ever against South Africa and we went on to win the World Cup,” Gilchrist told Australian Associated Press. “Maybe this is the inspiration Ricky needs.”

In Ahmedabad, veteran batsman Mike Hussey and paceman Mitchell Johnson said Ponting had the full support of the squad.

Ponting has been involved in three winning World Cup campaigns, and Johnson said the squad needed him at the helm.

“He’s a guy we all look up to,” Johnson was quoted as saying. “He’s copped a fair bit lately and he’s dealing with it in his own way. He’s got that experience to be able to deal with it.

“I don’t think he’s thinking about it too much, he’s just worried about this next game.”

Hussey also tipped Ponting to end his bad run of poor form with the bat, which has trigged some angry moments on and off the field, against India.

“It’s just amazing sometimes how champions just rise to the occasion at the right time,” Hussey said. “Against India in the World Cup is one of those times where I think we’ll see the best of Ricky Ponting.”

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